Four Steps for Drinking Success

9 Mar

I’ve had a few people ask me what my thoughts are about drinking alcohol, I think this is a great excuse for a post. I have a pretty unique view on drinking. This one is specifically for you Alyssa.

Memorial Day margaritas (margarita, Memorial D...

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So what is my drinking philosophy?
The short answer: I don’t drink alcohol (hardly ever).
The long answer: I don’t like drinking alcohol. It upsets my stomach, I’ve never acquired a taste for it, I see it as empty calories (I would rather eat than drink) and I don’t like the way I feel when I’m buzzed. This makes my choices at parties and bars very simple, I choose tap or sparkling water or if the option is available I drink tea or coffee. I am not 100% abstinent from alcohol, I occasionally have a drink or a shot. When I do drink it’s only premium liquor. My philosophy for alcohol is not that much different from my philosophy for food, only the best ingredients go into my temple of flesh.

I also know that this may not be the right choice for everyone but this is what works for me. If you are going to drink at a party or bar, I’d like to offer you these Four Steps for Drinking Success. You can apply this to eating at parties too, I do this when I know I will be around my favorite greasy foods.

Step 1 Remind yourself of your health or fitness goal. This will put you in the right frame of mind and give you a context to start from. For example, while I’m getting ready to go to a party I might say to myself, “OK you want the body of a fitness model and you’ve never been this close before. This is your dream and you’re going to make it happen.” If you have a photo that inspires you, look at it.

Step 2 Make a game plan. Figure out what you want to drink and how many you will have before you arrive. You have a much better chance of sticking with a plan if you actually make one. If you have friends going to the party get a couple to support you in making your best decisions. For example, I decide that I am going to have one shot of Patron at the party and one Margarita without salt and 3 glasses of water. I will call my friend Suzy Q and ask her, “Hey can you check in with me a couple of times at the party and ask me what I’ve had to drink? I want to make sure I don’t go overboard with drinking tonight. I want to be full of energy tomorrow for my workout. You asking me will help keep me in check, I would really appreciate it.”

Step 3 Drink plenty of water. You can mix it up here, you can drink a sparkling water with a strawberry or an orange slice or go with tap and a cucumber. This way you stay hydrated even if you drink more than you planned.

Step 4 If you go overboard, don’t beat yourself up. No one is perfect and sometimes all the planning in the world won’t keep you from caving in. It’s OK, you are human and humans screw up. If you are beating yourself up call a trusted friend and talk to them. When I’m beating myself up I usually dial my brother’s number. (Thanks Pete! You’re the best!) He simultaneously tells me not to beat myself up while having me see where I screwed up so I can learn from my mistake and motivate myself to keep moving forward. Know who that person is for you and call them. 

Most of my friends are drinkers and we get along just fine. But I am curious, are there any readers who share in my philosophy? Those of you who do enjoy your adult beverages more than me how do you handle your liquor at parties?

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8 Responses to “Four Steps for Drinking Success”

  1. sam March 9, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    as someone who likes to drink (a lot!), I really appreciate this post! Very helpful advice, not only for someone w/ fitness goals, but also for people who tend to drink too much and do things they regret 😉

  2. adyksterhouse March 9, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Thanks for this. I have found in the past five weeks of not drinking the pounds are flying off so this gives me some pointers for summer parties and the like.

  3. Katie March 9, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    I used to really like sugary drinks like amaretto sours or frozen margaritas, but now I really prefer beer – pale ales, mainly – and I usually only drink about once a week, 2 or 3 beers, so that keeps it pretty well in check for me. I might occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner at home, but I’m kind of like you – would rather eat than drink my calories!

  4. Kim March 9, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    It used to be the case that I rarely drank – like you, doesn’t do much for me and empty calories. Of late, I have been going out with my colleagues – and they drink every night. It has been particularly stressful at work lately, so we’d go out drinking after work. I noticed that I had started going with the flow, and having a drink with them. Going to the airport lounge for a free drink. Havning a drink on the plane….Mind you 1 to their 3-4, but still, having a drink 2-3 times per week is alot for me.

    So I’ve noticed the drift, and started not ordering with them by default and only have a drink on occasion – and with really good stuff…nipping a potential habit in the bud.

    But I can see how alcohol can become habitual, a coping mechanism, and so I also looked and saw that I had dropped the intensity of my workouts of late – a good thing to put back in to manage the stress – instead of numbing it with alcohol. I’ve been boxing with my trainer, and on the last especially stressful few weeks – I’ve called him saying – WE’RE BOXING THIS WEEK! That was much better than a beer ever could have tasted!

    I like the clarity of not drinking. I like not waking up with a hang over. And if you are on a budget, that factors in too. And I still have alot of fun.

  5. 40daykedge March 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Thanks all for your comments! I am so happy that everyone can get something from this post drinkers or not. Thanks for sharing what works for you.

  6. carlydeal March 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    This is a great post! I sometimes allow myself one glass of red wine when out for dinner or gatherings, so I make it a challenge to see just how long I can make it last! Also, as long as you have something in your hand, nobody is pressuring you to drink!

  7. danielle March 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    it’s funny that you did this post now because I have COMPLETELY given up liquor. I have had 1 drink in 2 weeks (a week ago sunday — had a mimosa at brunch) and feel so great. I am down 5 lbs (so I’m basically back to where I started) and now it’s time to keep going and get in the shape I want to be in.

    I gave up all bread, too. 🙂 Feels GOOD.

    • 40daykedge March 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

      You go girl, losing 5 lbs feels so great! Cutting out alcohol is such a great way to jump start any fitness plan.

      We seem to always be some how ending up on the same wave length!

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